1222 Title IV-B, Child Welfare
Under Title IV-B, DFPS is responsible for the following:
1. To protect and promote the welfare of children (Section 425).
2. To prevent or remedy problems which may result in neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children (Section 425).
3. To prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families (Section 425).
4. To return children to their families after providing services to the children and the families (Section 425).
5. To place children in suitable adoptive homes if it is not possible or appropriate to return the child to the family (Section 425).
6. To ensure adequate care of children in substitute care (Section 425).
7. To comply with reporting requirements for Title IV (Section 476).
8. To receive and spend child welfare earned funds for eligible child welfare services based on the Comprehensive Services Plan.
9. To qualify for additional IV-B funds by conducting an inventory of foster care children; operating a foster care information system, a foster care case review system, and a service program to reunite families or ensure other permanency for children; and implementing a program to prevent removal of children from their families (Section 427).
1223 Title IV-E, Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
Under Title IV-E, DFPS administers federal matching funds for foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments for children with special needs.
Cross-reference: (See Item 1540 and Item 1560 for more information.)
1224 Title XIX, Medicaid
Under Title XIX, DFPS makes Medicaid benefits available to children receiving protective services who meet Medicaid eligibility requirements. Children eligible for Medicaid are those receiving AFDC foster care, medical assistance only foster care, state-paid foster care, SSI, Title IV-E adoption subsidies, and state-paid adoption subsidies. (See Item 1540, Item 1550, and Item 1560.) DFPS continues to provide Title XIX Medicaid benefits when eligible children are placed or move out of state, unless the children are eligible under Title IV-E. Children eligible under Title IV-E receive their Medicaid benefits from the state in which they reside.
Cross-reference: See Item 1542.8, Item 1542.9, Item 1565.2, and Item 1565.4.
Targeted case management is an optional service funded by Title XIX. Targeted case management services assist targeted clients eligible under the state plan in gaining access to medical, social, educational, and other services.
1225 Title XX, Block Grant
Under the Title XX block grant provisions, DFPS is responsible for providing services directed toward the goal of preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children. DFPS continues to provide Title XX services to eligible children when they move or are placed out of state.
DFPS must provide the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with an annual report identifying the intended use of block grant funds. DFPS meets this requirement with a report entitled Intended Use Report — Title XX Social Services Block Grant.
DFPS must also conduct periodic audits of expenditures and report how funds are spent.
1226 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (P.L. 93-247)
This Act provides financial assistance to states to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect, to establish a National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, and to provide adoption opportunities for children.
Under P.L. 93-247, DFPS meets certain criteria:
1. Define the term child abuse and neglect according to the federal definitions.
2. Have a child abuse law that provides immunity for persons who report child abuse and neglect. (TFC, §34.03).
3. Provide for reporting of known or suspected child abuse.
4. Investigate report of child abuse and neglect.
5. Provide effective child protective services.
6. Provide emergency services to protect children’s health and welfare.
7. Maintain confidentiality of reports of abuse and neglect.
8. Cooperate with law enforcement officials, courts, and appropriate state agencies.
Item 1130, Section 2000, Section 5000
9. Maintain state funding at the 1973 federal fiscal year level and receive funds under this Act to supplement state funds.
10. Make information about child abuse and neglect available to the public.
11. Provide preferential treatment to parent organizations combating child abuse and neglect, if feasible.
12. Provide for the appointment of a guardian ad litem in child abuse and neglect court hearings.
1227 Indian Child Welfare Act (P.L. 95-608)
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) seeks to protect the best interests of Indian children. It establishes federal standards for removing Indian children from their families and for placing them in foster and adoptive homes.
Cross-reference: For information about the ICWA and DFPS’s responsibilities under it, see Appendix 1226-A, Child-Placing Requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Related Guidelines and Regulations, and Appendix 1226-B, Checklist for Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
1230 Constitutional Protections
CPS December 2008
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution regulates DFPS investigations. Though DFPS investigations entail some unavoidable infringement on the privacy of the persons involved, the Fourth Amendment provides families and children protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
Definitions of Search and Seizure
A search is the act of entering a home or inspecting another place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
A seizure is an act that would make a reasonable person feel that he, she, or other persons (such as family members) are not free to leave.
An individual is protected by the Fourth Amendment any time that DFPS performs a search or seizure.
Definition of Imminent and Exigent
Imminent means immediate. For example, unless CPS staff believe that the child is in immediate jeopardy or sexual abuse is about to occur, an emergency removal without a court order is not warranted.
Exigent circumstance is a situation that requires immediate action, such as the example described above.
Examples of DFPS Activities That Invoke Fourth Amendment Protection
There are four primary examples of DFPS activities that invoke Fourth Amendment protection. The proper legal steps for performing any of these actions while protecting Fourth Amendment rights are as follows. Consult the relevant policy for additional guidance:
1. Entry of a home:
· Obtain positive and unequivocal voluntary consent from a person legally authorized to give permission to enter. Whether a person is authorized to give consent varies with the person’s age, role, and location.
· Obtain a court order authorizing entry of the home.
· Establish that there are exigent circumstances. This means that based on the totality of the circumstances:
· There is reasonable cause to believe a child in the home is in imminent danger.
· The purpose of the entry is to prevent the danger.
2. Visual examination of a child:
· Obtain consent from the child, a parent, or a person with legal responsibility for the child.
· Obtain a court order authorizing physical inspection of a child.
3. Transporting a child from school:
· Obtain consent from a parent or person with legal responsibility for the child.
· Obtain a court order authorizing transporting a child from school.
· Hold a reasonable belief that the child has been abused and probably will suffer further abuse upon his return home at the end of the school day.
4. Removal of a child:
· Obtain consent for a voluntary placement.
· Obtain a court order for removal and conservatorship before the removal of the child.
· Establish that there are exigent circumstances that require an emergency removal without a prior court order. This means that based on the totality of the circumstances there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of physical or sexual abuse if he or she remains in the home.
1300 Fiscal Requirements
The Child Protective Services Program is financed by federal, state, and local funds. Child protective services staff in most counties manages funds for the care and protection of children and the administration of child protective programs. To ensure accountability, staff must follow the procedures outlined in Section 1300 for managing and reporting the funds.
1310 Federal Funds
Federal funding for the program is from Title IV-A, Title IV-B, Title IV-E, Title XIX, and Title XX of the Social Security Act; and under PL 93-247.
Cross-reference: See Section 8000, Purchased Protective Services, for information about purchased services.
1320 State Funds
State funding for the program is provided through the Legislative Appropriations Act.
1330 Local Funds
Local funding for the program is from
· public or private agencies or individuals; and
· the county, through child welfare contracts.
Cross-reference: See Item 1132, County Governments.
Local funds are received from cities; counties; child support or other payments from parents or relatives; RSDI, Veteran’s Administration, or other pensions; SSI; Title IV-E and state-paid reimbursements for foster care; community groups; or other public or private sources.
Local funds are considered as either public local funds or private local funds. These are explained in Item 1331 and Item 1332.
1331 Public Local Funds
Public local funds are funds from cities or counties which are received by or budgeted for expenditure on behalf of the local child protective services units or child welfare boards. These funds are not actually received by DFPS staff or child welfare boards. The city or county pays these funds on behalf of the program. Title IV-E and state-paid foster care reimbursements become public local funds when they are received by the county from DFPS. The county uses the reimbursements for child welfare services or includes them in the county’s general revenue fund.
Public funds are usually given for a specific purpose or type of service and for a specific period of time. Counties or child protective services units must indicate in accounting records that the county or unit spent the funds according to the directions of the city, county, and child welfare board. According to the child welfare contract, a child’s Title IV-E or state-paid foster care payments must be spent for the child. Any unspent public funds may revert to the city or county treasury, may be reallocated to the local unit, or may remain in the local unit’s operating funds, depending on the policies or decisions of county or city officials.
1332 Private Local Funds
Private local funds are funds received by local child protective services units or child welfare boards from sources other than cities or counties. This includes SSI payments, VA and social security benefits, child support and other payments from parents, and civic contributions.
1332.1 Children’s Funds
Section 153.371(5, 6, and 9), Texas Family Code, gives the managing conservator the right to control a child’s financial benefits unless a court appoints a guardian of the child’s estate.
Texas Family Code §153.371(5),(6),(9)
If DFPS has managing conservatorship of a child, DFPS acts as an agent for the child in spending funds received for the child. If DFPS misappropriates children’s funds, DFPS may be held legally accountable to the child.
Cross-reference: See Item 1341 Accounting Procedures, for information about accounting for children’s private funds.
Unless a child’s private funds are designated for a specific purpose, DFPS, as managing conservator, may spend the funds for the child’s care and benefit. Any funds that DFPS does not spend for the child must be held in trust. This trust money is used for future child care expenses, returned to the child when he attains majority, or given to the new conservator if the court transfers conservatorship away from DFPS. Accumulated trust funds must be kept in an interest bearing account when the amount of the funds warrants this type of account.
1333 Reimbursement for Court-Ordered Social Studies
Section 107.056, Texas Family Code, requires that if a court orders DFPS to complete a social study, the court must award a reasonable fee to DFPS for preparation of the social study.
Texas Family Code §107.056
DFPS regional offices receive the fees. When the fees are received, regional staff completes Form 4100-X, Money Receipt, and sends it to the court or the person making the payment. Regional staff sends the collected fee and a copy of Form 4100-X to Fiscal Management Services. Regional staff must ensure that the region number, the object code 5810, and the program activity code are entered on the Form 4100-X. The program activity code indicates whether the region wants the fees allocated for staffing (code 401 is used) or for contracts (code 431 is used).
Fiscal Management Services credits the collected fees to the region. Program Budget Division allocates the money back to the region to use for either staffing or contracts. This occurs only if regional staff entered the region number on Form 4100-X.
1334 Adoption Reimbursement
The attorney general has ruled that DFPS, counties, or child welfare boards must not charge or receive any type of adoption reimbursement fee.
Adoption reimbursement fees are defined as funds received by an agency or entity from adoptive parents to fully or partially repay costs of providing care and services to a child or a child’s biological parents before a child’s adoptive placement.
1335 Receipt of Money
Staff in the local child protective services unit must immediately prepare a receipt for money received in the unit. Refer to Form 4100-X, Money Receipt, in the Administrative Management Handbook.